Author Archive

Portneuf Medical Center Implements Revised Visitation Policies

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

In response to the local increase in COVID-19 community spread, hospital admissions and emergency room visits, Portneuf Medical Center is revising its visitation policies. As of today, Friday, October 2, 2020 at 4 p.m., only on-duty staff, physicians and patients seeking care may enter the hospital or our clinics.

Recognizing the critical emotional and/or physical support provided in specific circumstances, exceptions to this policy include:
• Delivering mothers (one companion/visitor)
• Pediatric patients (parents/immediate caregiver)
• Ambulatory care and same-day surgery patients (one visitor)
• Developmentally delayed adults
• Hospice patients; end-of-life care

“The health and safety of our patients, their families, and team members are our top priority at Portneuf Medical Center,” stated CEO Jordan Herget. “In order to protect our patients and staff from the increased level of COVID-19 in the community, we are restricting visitation privileges.” Dr. Daniel Snell, chief medical officer of Portneuf Medical Center, added: “We are implementing this policy change in an abundance of caution to keep our healthcare staff and providers safe and protected, allowing us to safely care for our patients.”

Portneuf Medical Center strongly encourages the public to follow the COVID-19 safety precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to wear a mask or face covering and observe 6-foot distancing guidelines in public and wash your hands frequently with soap and water. We also encourage everyone to get a flu shot to further protect our community from contagious disease.

Kindred to Manage Inpatient Rehabilitation Services at Portneuf Medical Center

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Portneuf has engaged Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services to manage inpatient rehabilitation services at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello.

Under the agreement, Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services will manage and operate Portneuf Medical Center’s 9-bed rehabilitation unit.

The rehabilitation unit has a long history of offering exceptional care to patients recovering from serious illness or injury, including stroke and brain injury. This new relationship with Kindred will build on that strong history and foundation.

“We believe a Portneuf and Kindred partnership focused on advancing acute rehab services will establish our Rehabilitation Unit as a regional center of excellence,” said Nathan Carter, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Portneuf Medical Center “Kindred brings to the partnership its extensive network of relationships and its experience and expertise operating similar facilities around the country.”

Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services will provide Portneuf Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Unit with management programs and best practices in quality rehabilitation services. Kindred is a leading provider of rehabilitation program management services. These services enhance productivity and program performance and provide staff training in more than 1,500 hospitals, nursing and rehabilitation centers, and other post-acute care settings across the nation. Kindred’s services consistently outperform national industry averages on quality measures.

“We are committed to investing in programs and services that enhance the quality of patient care at Portneuf Medical Center and increase our community’s access to essential services to improve patients’ functional abilities and independence,” said Angela Treasure, Chief Nursing Officer at Portneuf Medical Center. “Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services brings a high level of expertise, experience, insight and professionalism to our rehabilitation services.”

“Portneuf has a longstanding reputation for clinical excellence, innovation in patient care and outstanding quality outcomes,” said Rachel Compton, Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services’ divisional vice president – West Region. “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Portneuf as we implement programs best tailored to meet patients’ needs and provide local employment opportunities. We share in Portneuf’s commitment to high quality care, every patient, every time.

Portneuf and Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services are committed to continuing the rehabilitation unit’s long record of success for the benefit of patients, their families and the communities we serve.

Portneuf Medical Center Appoints Jordan Herget CEO

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Portneuf Medical Center has appointed a new leader, Jordan Herget, as chief executive officer (CEO). He will begin his new role on August 24, 2020. Herget will succeed Mark Gregson who has served as interim CEO during a nation-wide search for a permanent leader.

Herget comes to Pocatello from Roseville, California where he was senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente. He had oversight of the 340-bed Kaiser Roseville Medical Center and the area’s Kaiser Foundation Health Plan with 350,000 members, plus a combined total of 2800 employees.

Previously, Herget served as President and CEO of O’Connor Hospital and St. Louise Regional Hospital in San Jose and Gilroy, California, respectively. He also brings a breadth of experience with HCA Healthcare, serving in roles in finance and executive management at hospitals in Alaska, California, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah and Idaho.

This move marks Herget’s return to Idaho where he served as chief operating officer at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls from 2007 to 2010. “This move is a very big deal for me and my family. We love southeastern Idaho and have family members nearby, including our son who attends Boise State.”

Herget continued, “Portneuf is an outstanding hospital with a 5-star patient safety rating from CMS, among other accolades. I am committed to collaborating with the medical community and our employees to build on this history of quality care. I look forward to being fully engaged with the local community, listening to what they need and want from their medical center.”

Matt Maxfield, division president said Herget was an ideal choice for Portneuf Medical Center. “Jordan and his wife Julie know the area well and his career history is a great match for Portneuf Medical Center. He has significant experience leading an integrated health system with population health initiatives,” Maxfield explained.

Local Board Chair Mark Buckalew lauded Herget’s experience in leading hospitals with a focus on top quality patient care, great patient satisfaction and outstanding employee engagement. “It was important to our board to choose someone who would be a good fit in leadership style as well as a dedication to what is in the best interest of patients, employees and our physicians. We believe Jordan brings all of that and more to Portneuf,” said Buckalew.

Herget is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is masters prepared in health finance and management, having attended the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise physiology. He has been actively engaged in many communities through local chambers, youth sports, and public health.

The Hergets have three children, two in college and a third serving in the United States Navy.

Area Agencies Come Together to Encourage Citizens to “Stay Smart. Stay Safe. Stay Open.”

Monday, July 13th, 2020

Some of Southeast Idaho’s largest organizations are joining forces in the fight against COVID-19.

“Stay Smart. Stay Safe. Stay Open.” is the slogan for a new COVID-19 prevention campaign launched by Southeastern Idaho Public Health, Portneuf Health Partners, City of Pocatello, Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce, Idaho State University and Pocatello/Chubbuck School District #25. The campaign is an effort to remind area residents the importance of practicing key strategies to battle the disease and, in doing so, keeping the economy open. Strategies include physical distancing (at least 6 ft), wearing a mask, washing your hands, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and staying home when you are sick.

“It’s important that we continue to come together as a community to fight COVID-19. This partnership helps us work toward the common goal of building a healthy community,” said Maggie Mann, Southeastern Idaho Public Health District Director. “COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon and strategies such as physical distancing and wearing a mask are the new normal. This prevention campaign is a great way to keep reminding our community of their importance.”

The campaign will include social media, billboards and newspaper ads, public service announcements and other messaging tools that will highlight strategies citizens can take to protect themselves from COVID-19.

For southeast Idaho specific information about the novel coronavirus, please visit https://siphidaho.org/coronavirus.php.

For Idaho-specific information about the novel coronavirus, please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/.

Join us Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. for Facebook Live at https://facebook.com/siphidaho.

Portneuf Nurses Headed to the Rescue in New Jersey

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

From wars to pandemics, when the world needs healing and support, nurses historically rise to the challenge. With the number of infections of COVID-19 increasing daily, nurses are needed now more than ever in hot spots across the country. Today, two Portneuf Medical Center registered nurses boarded an eastbound plane fully prepared to spend the next two weeks caring for COVID patients in New Jersey.

“I felt very protective of my team and hesitated for just a moment before asking if anyone would be willing to spend up to two weeks at one of our sister hospitals in New Jersey in one of the hardest hit COVID areas of the country,” said Amy Hemsley, RN, MSN, Director Critical Care Services at Portneuf Medical Center. “Six of our ICU nurses volunteered. As a team, we opted to share two nurses for a short period of time.”

Jill McQuary, RN, CCRN has been on the Portneuf ICU team for 13 years and Brittiney Curzon, RN, CCRN has been with Portneuf for 11 years, 7 of which have been in the ICU. These two nurses will serve at either Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center or Pascack Valley Medical Center, the two New Jersey hospitals in the Ardent Health Services family.

“The quality of nurses here is top-notch, said Charles Ivester, MD, Portneuf ICU Medical Director. “NJ is lucky to get them.”

“I feel we can bring some relief to their healthcare team,” said Curzon. “We have an opportunity to help save lives and to learn how to manage the challenges of treating large numbers of patients fighting the disease process of COVID-19.”

Both nurses are aware of the inherent risk of being on the front line of patient care, but they recognize that their fellow nurses in NJ are in serious need of intensive care and emergency trained nurses to supply the demand for care.

“Our sister hospital is so blessed to have these two talented nurses,” Hemsley said. “Our appreciation and pride will be with them as they enter infection hotspots, care for infected patients, and courageously put themselves at higher risk in order to support those in need.”

“New Jersey has been on the front lines for a while and I feel calm and hopeful that we will bring a sense of relief to tired nurses,” McQuary said. “When we return, we will follow Portneuf’s return to work policy and spend upward of 14 days in isolation before we return to our ICU.”

“There is an attitude at Portneuf of getting things done and as a team, we are very well prepared and ready,” said Ivester.

While nurses and providers are front-line support, the resolution of the global issue still lies in the hands of community members. The best way to support the healthcare community is to stay home, self-isolate, and practice good personal hygiene to disrupt the spread of the virus.

Celebrating Doctors’ Day

Monday, March 30th, 2020

When I think of Doctors’ Day, I too think of why we celebrate this profession. We celebrate so that providers and the community can continually be more aware of the miracles we see in our hospitals and practices every day. The miracles of birth, of recovery from injury, of diseases that are turned back and even in the miracle of discovering hope amid a serious difficulty, when a cure seems unlikely.

During this challenging time in health care, I am even more aware that my colleagues are passionate about serving others; they are passionate about making a meaningful difference in their patients’ lives; and they are passionate about helping each other with patient care and with issue beyond patient care. I am humbled and honored to work side-by-side with those in our medical community who give so much of themselves to raise the level of healthcare for our families, friends, neighbors and visitors.

I think about colleagues and the countless hours of research, continuing education and on-call schedules that take them away from their families. I too am acutely aware of the nights and weekends they spend at the hospital so they can attend to their patients.

So why do we celebrate Doctors’ Day? We do so not for ourselves, but for our colleagues, we do so to recognize our collective contributions. With a deep appreciation and respect for those who have served as care providers, mentors, friends, co-workers, and partners, I thank you and celebrate you!

Dan Snell, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Portneuf Medical Center. Dr. Snell has his Medical Degree and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Utah. He completed his anesthesia residency at the University of Arizona and is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

Eat More Vegetables

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020


Vegetables are the easiest way to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases and all-cause mortality. However, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for America found that vegetable intake is below the recommendations for all age groups in our country. Daily intake for vegetables is recommended between 2.5 to 3 cups. Read the tips below to find out how you can get eat more vegetables!
10 Tips for Eating More Vegetables:

1. Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, or quick snacks while cooking dinner.
2. Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat dressing or hummus.
3. Utilize canned vegetables such as tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, or beets. Select those labeled with “reduced sodium” or “no salt added”, or “low-sodium”.
4. Vegetable soups like tomato, butternut squash, or garden vegetables soup. Make your own soups with a low-sodium broth!
5. Use vegetables as pizza toppings. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms.
6. Stuff an omelet, pasta dish or your favorite homemade nachos with vegetables.
7. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables or chopped veggies to steam or stir-fry for a quick side dish.
8. Add spinach or kale to your favorite fruit smoothie.
9. Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables. Don’t forget beans or chickpeas.
10. Vary your veggies! Aim to try a new vegetable every month.

Information provided by Alyssa Lynott RDN,LD
Resources:
Choose MyPlate
Today’s Dietitian
Eat Right.org

National Nutrition Month – Eat Right, Bite by Bite

Friday, March 13th, 2020

“People often view snacks as an energy boost, a hunger-satisfier, a recreational activity, or a treat,” says Karen Collins, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND, nutrition advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research. A more healthful view is that a snack is another opportunity to consume nutrients and boost health, she says.

 

15 Tips for Snacking Smart

  • Focus on an eating pattern that promotes a healthy body weight, meets nutrient needs, and lessens the risk for chronic disease
  • Pick snack foods that are low in added fat, sugar and sodium, and high in protein, fiber and vitamins/minerals
    • Protein with carbohydrates will help you feel the fullest longest
  • Pair foods from different food groups to consume a wider variety of nutrients
  • If snacks are consumed, balance these choices with meal choices (think about your entire day)
  • Consider eating frequency in addition to portion sizes, and be mindful of hunger cues
    • Avoid snacking at “off” times, such as too close to mealtimes or late at night
  • Plan ahead: pre-portion snacks to promote convenience and avoid overconsumption
  • Avoid break room freebies (you might not even realize how often you reach for these items)
  • Keep a list of favorite snack foods and/or brands to refer to for ideas
  • Don’t forget about liquid calories, including those from sweetened coffees and teas, soda, fruit drinks, and energy drinks
  • Be cautious with snacks that appear healthy
    • Example: trail mix – oftentimes, these can contain yogurt covered raisins, deep-fried banana chips, chocolate chips or candy pieces, and salted nuts
  • Create a list of your favorite snacks to refer to
  • Practice reading food labels
    • Look at the portion size, fat, sugar, sodium, protein, fiber and the ingredient list
  • Use containers that are reusable, or materials that are recyclable to reduce waste
  • Organic does not necessarily mean healthy, and these foods can still be processed with a good amount of added fat, sugar and sodium
  • Limit intake of added sugars to less than 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) for men, limit intake of sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day, and limited intake of saturated fat to less than 10% of total calories

 

Instead of This Eat This
Cookies, candy, processed baked goods Fresh or dried fruit, energy balls, dark chocolate, whole-grain baked goods, whole grain dry cereal
Pretzels Popcorn, whole grain crackers, dehydrated vegetables/chickpeas/wasabi peas
Fruit snacks, fruit leather Fresh, frozen or canned fruit without added sugars, dried fruit
Potato chips (including fried veggie chips) Dehydrated vegetable chips, plain baked chips, mixed nuts, whole grain crackers, roasted chickpeas, raw vegetables with dip (hummus, guacamole), seaweed
Prepared trail mix Homemade trail mix
Protein bars or granola bars with added sugars Protein bars or granola bars that limited added sugars or that contain natural sugars (fruit)
Soda pop Flavored water
Flavored yogurt Plain yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, string cheese
Certain nut butters (those that are low fat, hydrogenated, or with added sugars) Natural nut butter
Full fat ice cream Homemade popsicles, banana “nice” cream, slow-churned ice cream, sorbet, high protein ice cream

 

 

Information provided by Jill Peters, MPH, RDN, LD.

Online Resources:
Center for Science in the Public Interest – Healthy School Snacks
Choose My Plate (USDA) – 10 Tips: MyPlate Snack Tips for Parents
Today’s Dietitian (search: snacks)

 

Postponing Public Events

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

Pocatello, ID (3/11/20) – In support of community health and to prevent the possible spread of upper respiratory illness, Portneuf Medical Center is postponing upcoming public events and meetings. This decision was made in accordance with guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to at-risk populations to avoid mass gatherings. Portneuf Medical Center remains committed to meeting our community’s healthcare needs while keeping our patients, providers, staff and visitors safe.

At this time, we are postponing the following events at Portneuf Medical Center:

· Teddy Bear Clinic, originally scheduled for March 14, 2020

· Daniel Rowland, MD seminar on women’s health, originally scheduled for March 19, 2020

We will announce dates for rescheduled events pending further guidance from health authorities.

We remind everyone that the most effective way to prevent the spread of any communicable disease is to avoid contact with those who are sick, and to stay home if you are sick. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and keep your hands away from your face if possible.

We will provide ongoing updates and thank you for your understanding.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mary Keating, Director of Marketing at mary.keating@portmed.org.

Portneuf Medical Center Nationally Recognized for High Quality Care

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Portneuf Medical Center has been recognized among the nation’s top hospitals with a top five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS assigns star ratings to more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide based on their performance across seven quality measures. Only 407 hospitals received a 5-star rating in 2020, placing Portneuf Medical Center in the top 10 percent in the country to earn this distinction.

“When people need to make important healthcare decisions, the star rating is one way to help them make a sound choice based on objective measures,” said Mark Gregson, interim CEO, Portneuf Medical Center. “At Portneuf, our team is dedicated to delivering world-class care. The CMS website www.HospitalCompare.gov makes it easy to compare facilities in the area side-by-side and get answers to important questions about healthcare quality.”

The overall rating ranges from one to five stars. The more stars, the better a hospital performed on the available quality measures. According to CMS, the most common overall hospital rating is 3 stars. The consumer-oriented website shows how well each hospital performed, on average, compared to other hospitals in the U.S. To compare facilities, visit https://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare.

“Portneuf has realized sustainable growth and improvements. Our programs work in concert to promote our main priorities: extending excellent patient care and increasing patient satisfaction,” stated Mark Buckalew, chairman of the board at Portneuf

“The CMS 5-star rating reflects the hard work and commitment of close to 2,000 caregivers. We are dedicated to living our mission of providing safe, compassionate care each and every day,” said Joni Curtis, Chief Quality Officer, Portneuf Medical Center. “It is a huge achievement for the Portneuf team and, more importantly, for the benefit of our community.”

“Portneuf is a great community asset,” explained Gregson. “It is rare, in a community this size, to have a hospital with great depth in medical specialties that also ranks in the top 10 percent of the country for quality outcomes. The future for Portneuf Medical Center and Pocatello is very bright.”